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Cosmic Color Pixels in a Mega Tree - My Wife May Kill Me!


Jay Czerwinski
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Drama Background: (skip to tech question if too much to read!)

Amongst a thousand things that have been life changing events over the last year (new baby, job, home, etc.), my wife has put up with my Light-O-Rama obsession through yet another holiday -- Halloween. It went very well in our new neighborhood and the community is rallying around the new center of entertainment! Everyone who saw the Halloween display immediately asked what will happen for Christmas. I tell them about the stories of you good folks here and how our community shares tips, advice, sequences, etc. and how many look at Halloween as being a warm up for Christmas!! I have set the stage for expectations and people that drive by honk the horn with a thumbs up waiting to see what will take place. I've only had a yard for 6 months now and between diaper changes I have had no time for jigs or planned setups -- so I am really scrambling and just now opening boxes from the summer sale. THE GOOD NEWS is that my wife has become very interested in helping and has begun to participate in the ground level elements. (I don't want a new momma to be on a ladder, I think our new son needs her more than me right now.) But, she has really put a foot forward and we just set up our first mega-tree yesterday. Our "raising of the peak" technique was a disaster and all of the cords became quite tangled. After a long time getting things sorted out, the tree is up! And now I am opening manuals for the first time to see how the CCPs should be configured and addressed and OH NOOOOOOO! The directions show a warning about hanging the CCPs and I see some posts here about the wires pulling out!!!!! :-0 And some people have suggestions about how to reinforce the connections. If I have to pull this thing down to reinforce and weatherproof - MY WIFE IS GONNA FLIP OUT!!! ....and we've come so far....

I actually did read the instructions long ago and I thought that the CCPs could hold their own weight, and not to let other things hang from them. But a closer inspection and searching here makes me concerned about what I have installed. I just went out and tested everything and it works with no breaks in the wire.

Technical Questions:

Can I hang just half of the CCP in the mega tree (25') supporting its own weight and have any hope of wires not pulling out or water getting in? What are my odds? (I am in Southern CA with mild weather)

Is the warning from LOR mostly a precautionary thing or am I really on borrowed time right now and I need to pull them down ASAP?

If I do have to pull them down, any suggestions on how to securely put them back in to the mega tree? (particularly fast techniques so maybe I can be stealthy and fix without by bride knowing!)

If you have ever had to redo the lights your wife set up, what was your approach?!?!?!?!? ;-)

Any advice is appreciated! Sincerely, Jay

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I doubt you have an issue with ice forming, but you may be subject to high winds (I know in south Texas we get 30+ mph winds regularly). It sounds like you have a traditional tree not a spiral tree. If you are worried about the wind beating up the pixels, I would suggest you use a stiff wire (like bailing wire) to attach your CCPs to. You will need a lot of wire ties. Stetch the wire as tight as you can, the attach the pixels to the wire. I have no data, but I would be very careful not to tighten the wire ties too tight, they may damage the wires. CCPs haven't been out long, so there isn't a lot of practicle data on how robust they are. CCRs are fragile and have to be handled with care. Only time will tell if CCPs and CCBs have the same issues.

Good luck

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I do believe Jay ask several questions in the original post. If that's not the case, I guess I'm having flashbacks from my 60's days :)

Thank you for the feedback and idea. I think that's where my mind went to first for a solution. I was just really hoping to not bring down the tree again. But that might be better to bring it down while things still work. Like I said, the wife's not gonna be happy. Thank you again.

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I'm not using CCP's but a similar 'generic' pixel. I'm using para-cord and have zip-tied between every other node, somewhat loosely, so that the paracord takes up the strain and not the pixels themselves. When I ran my first test last night I noticed part of a string wasn't working - turns out there was too much strain on that pixel and the wires pulled out of it. I'll have to splice in a new one there - I hope that's the only place that I messed up and had too much strain on it. Fortunately this one is right at the bottom (but dead-center front of the tree)

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I'm not using CCP's but a similar 'generic' pixel. I'm using para-cord and have zip-tied between every other node, somewhat loosely, so that the paracord takes up the strain and not the pixels themselves. When I ran my first test last night I noticed part of a string wasn't working - turns out there was too much strain on that pixel and the wires pulled out of it. I'll have to splice in a new one there - I hope that's the only place that I messed up and had too much strain on it. Fortunately this one is right at the bottom (but dead-center front of the tree)

Thanks Tim! WOW, that freaks me out and I wanna just ditch work and run home to get them down quickly!!! But as it is with a lot of companies giving us a short week for the holiday, it just means we have to get 5 days worth of stuff done in 3!!! There'll be no going home early today...

Good luck fixing your display - may you have a quick and uneventful operation on the wires!!!

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My solution was to use suspended ceiling wire running behind the CCPs. At about every 8' I would make a loop tightly around the pixel housing and then continue down the strand, giving a tiny amount of slack to the CCP line. So the next 8' are hanging from the suspended ceiling wire and not the prior CCPs. It felt like 8' of hanging wire really doesn't put a lot of stress on the CCP wire connections. I'll post here in the future shoud a problem arise. "No news is good news!"

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  • 4 weeks later...

Can anyone offer me advice on how to remove a 3 pixel section of a CCR? It seems obvious to me where to make the cuts, but any specifics on how to reconnect the two ends would be appreciated. And what have you done to weatherproof the splice?

I have a 3 pixel section where the green color does not work. This doesn't seem like the type of failure I would expect from my putting too much strain on the CCR with a cable tie? I only put cable ties at the places where you would make cuts.

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pdowns, first of all, you generally would be better off starting a new thread rather than replying to an only somewhat related message thread.

However, that said, cut at the joint between sections. Solder either very short wires between the corresponding tabs on each side or just a solder bridge between each tab. Fill up the open end of the silicon tube with a silicon that does not emit acetone as it cures. OK, that likely made it sound really easy (or impossibly hard). It's not all that hard to do.

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